The Living Room vs. Family Room

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Is there a difference between a living room vs family room? We spend most of our time in our family room, so why isn’t it called the “living” room?

Living Room vs. Family Room

Do you think that the colloquialisms of the living room vs family room are outdated? I think I do. In the olden days, living rooms were very formal rooms used for entertaining guests. It was a large room compared to the rest of the house so that guests could be accommodated.

Do you agree?

A Living Room or a Family Room?

Living Room vs. Family Room

Over the years, living rooms have shrunk and family rooms have grown and eventually transformed into great rooms that are much more in tune with our current lifestyles. So, here’s my question, today, is there a difference between a living room vs a family room? Don’t we live in the family room?

Long ago, or not that long ago, depending on your age, people even put plastic covers on their living room furniture to “protect it” for their company and guests. Can you imagine that today?

Although, when I had three children under the age of three, plastic covers on everything in our home might have come in handy!

For those of us living in older homes, we have large living rooms and depending on the age of the home, a “den” or no family room at all! Some of the top remodeling projects are to remove walls to create a kitchen/great room/family room.

I think it is safe to say that we have two family rooms in our home. Of course, they could also be called two living rooms.

The Family Room Winter Refresh

Living Room vs. Family Room

Today I am sharing our Family Room which has been refreshed for winter. I didn’t change any furniture, lighting, or the rug. All I did was change the color palette to sage green and icy blue and change the accessories.

And yet, our family room feels totally different!

The Old Looks

As you can see, once I had a neutral slipcover made for our sectional, every “refresh” only consisted of changing accessories, such as pillows, decor items, and florals. The last photo shows how our couch looked before. Yikes!

The Family Room and Kitchen Remodel

Living Room vs. Family Room

When we remodeled our kitchen and family room in 2000, we had a teeny tiny kitchen and a very small “den” that was only large enough for a love seat! We removed some walls and extended the back of our home to create what is now our kitchen and family room and it is truly a great room.

Living Room vs. Family Room

The New Winter Color Palette

When I updated the room with my winter color palette colors of sage green and icy blue, I seriously had no idea how amazing it would look in the family room. I am blown away and absolutely love the colors in this room! What do you think? It feels very calm and serene now in this room and that was my goal for this room.

Living Room vs. Family Room

I found these pillows online. Actually, I made the green and white ticking stripe pillow but the blue and multi-stripe pillow covers arrived from Amazon this week. Aren’t they fabulous?

Living Room vs. Family Room

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Family Room Ideas With TV

Living Room vs. Family Room

Our family room is definitely the room that we live in the most. After more than twenty years, we recently moved the furniture around and added a Samsung Frame TV which I cannot say enough good things about. The Frame TV allows you to show art on the TV so when you are not watching it, it looks like a piece of art. How brilliant is that?

And how amazing is the art on our TV above?

See the blue wooden box under the TV? I found it at the Rose Bowl Flea Market and now it holds our spirits for Happy Hour. Just a small touch of blue sitting atop the vintage cabinet looks amazing.

Living Room vs. Family Room

I added a Deco Frame in Antique White and quite honestly, I think that the TV is the star of the room now. For a while, I thought it was the way the french doors behind the couch make the room look like a sunroom. Or maybe the way the dining table is the connection between the family room and the kitchen.

But no, the star of our family room is definitely the Frame TV. Every season I choose new art based on the colors I use to decorate the room! I think you can see why we spend so much time here. It truly is our favorite room in the house. We really do “live” here.

Setting the Table

Living Room vs. Family Room

I set the table using my favorite transferware in shades of sage green and blue. The centerpieces are faux flowers and the vases are made from birch bark. I made the cream candlesticks and love how they look on any table.

I purchased the green glassware recently and I linked it below and I love that our Family Room also serves as our Living Room.

And as soon as I finish the refresh in our Living Room I will share it on the blog. I am just waiting for some fabric to arrive.

Watch Me Live!

I love having the chance to talk with all of you about all of the things that I love. I am now sharing a few Amazon Live broadcasts every week and they are so much fun!

Here are my latest broadcasts! Just tap on the links to take a peek.

I am in love with my new winter palette and want to share all of my new favorite Amazon finds with you!

Pin the image below to your boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!


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  1. No need for family rooms and living rooms
    Not many of us need a formal space, if you want to entertain after kids are in bed buy storage furniture for toys etc and your good to go

  2. The frame tv looks great as a piece of art. Where do you sit when you want to watch a television program or movie?

    1. Kim,
      It’s hard to tell but my husband and I sit in the chair and on the right side of the sectional. the chair is only about ten feet away from the TV so it’s perfect seating and viewing. Since we also like to sit and read or play games, we like that we are not always needing to view the TV. I just like looking at the artwork.

    2. It’s interesting how homes have evolved and changing simple things makes such a difference, I love the colors you chose and I just about flipped my lid when I saw the salad plates you were offering because I have a few just like them that I found years ago and thought I’d never find any more! We have a small living room, although it seems we do all our living in the large family room! The smaller room was a great space when our girl and all her friends who were constantly here we’re hanging out and having sleepovers. Now I’d like to turn that other room into an office or Craft space. Thanks for sharing the resources and also letting us know about the lives!

  3. I guess I’m with Kim on where do you sit to watch tv? I like the tv frame it looks so pretty. Love the new colors!

  4. I love how easily you transition from season to season with such few changes! Those slip covers seem to make it all possible. Can you reveal where you ordered the custom covers from because those seem to always fit perfectly. I hate a baggy slipcover.

    1. Monica,
      I ordered the slipcovers from a local upholsterer here in Southern California. If you are local I would be happy to share the information.

  5. When you buy new serving pieces, in this case, the green glassware, how many do you buy? We used to buy 8 of everything, but now find we are needing at least 12. Then I wonder, should I buy more than that, in case something breaks…LOL!

    1. Cheryl,
      I always buy 8. Sometimes if they are on sale or at a good price I buy 12. But remember I often mix and match so eight is usually enough!

  6. The chargers or bottom plates on the table in the pictures aren’t the same as the one you show that we can buy on Amazon. I love the sage green plate you show but it doesn’t say it’s a charger.
    Also please give the name of the paint on your walls and chairs.
    PS…..Why can’t we see your answers to the questions asked? I have some of the same questions.

    1. Those are vintage plates on the bottom of the blue and white plates. Sometimes I can find a link for them but whenever you don’t see a link, it’s because I can’t find anywhere where they are for sale. I bought mine at a flea market about ten years ago. I also bought the green chairs at Crate and Barrel 22 years ago and they came in this color. Sadly, they aren’t still for sale. All of my paint colors are on my blog. Just search for Paint Colors and you will see the colors listed for the Family Room.
      Typically I am not able to answer the questions on my blog until the afternoon. Once I answer them you will be available to see all of the replies.

  7. Love love love everything you do my friend. This may seem like an “ah-ha” question but how do you hang your decor? I have used command hooks since they first came out but they just
    don’t work for everything especially heavier pieces. Can you share any secrets?

  8. The refresh looks beautiful! I love the combo of colors and the fabrics chosen for your textiles – placemats and pillows. I have always been a blue and white girl but have gradually noticed that green has crept in over the past several years. Where did you get the green ticking stripe fabric to make your pillows? I think it is my favorite!

  9. I just ordered the pillow covers. Will make a nice change for winter and will go well with my current blue velvet pillows!

  10. Leslie, I love everything you do. I remember you said that your sofa in the living room was covered with a slip cover you had commissioned a while ago, and specifically wanted those great pleats in the front. I love that sofa! The one in your family room is a sectional, and I was wondering if you would mind telling us where you purchased that sofa? It looks very comfy-cozy and I am shopping for a new sofa for my home. I am shopping on-line, since I still am isolating due to “C”……(dirty word) LOL!! Any help you could provide would be appreciated. I would love to know reputable places to shop on line for sofas if you know of any. Thank you very much.

  11. I live the mix of blues and greens! I saw your links for 2 pillow cover, but didnt see the one for the thinner striped pillow. Can you share that also. Your rooms looks warm and cozy!

  12. Your room is absolutely beautiful!! This is how I decorate in the summer when I want the room to feel ‘cooler’. I’m cold in the winter so this time of year I bring out warm colors to help bring the temp up.

  13. hi Leslie , my last home consisted of a formal lounge and dinning room with beautiful furniture in it , my children called it the museum room, we were more comfortable in the family room and outdoor living , being an Aussie its a preference, when we purchased our new home the plan showed 3 lounge area’s, a Formal and two informal , how many lounges could one have ?? or need I turned the family room that was a combined lounge and dinning into just this lovely large dinning area ,large formal lounge into our everyday lounge the third upstairs when the grand sons pre teens and a 20yr old come over their gamming room, I do love your homes and love seeing them done up on TV , unfortunately we don’t have many old home steads left in Sydney, keep up the lovely work Leslie

  14. I love the colors that you chose, so pretty! Did you sew your placemats or purchase them? I like how you used floral and striped.

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